A Neighbourhood Planning Referendum will be held for the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday 28 October 2021.
Neighbourhood Planning Referendums are conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections.
Referendum Information Statement (including information for voters)
Statement published: Monday 20 September 2021 Referendum date: 28 October 2021
About the Referendum
On 28 October 2021, there will be a referendum on a neighbourhood plan for your area. This statement explains more about the referendum that is going to take place and how you can take part in it. This statement provides information about:
The referendum and how you can take part;
The planning system in England and the development plan;
The Neighbourhood Area; and
The East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan.
Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan
A referendum asks you to vote 'yes' or 'no' to a question.
For this referendum you will receive a ballot paper with this question:
Do you want South Tyneside Council to use the neighbourhood plan for East Boldon to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?
How do I vote in the referendum?
You vote by putting a cross (X) in the 'Yes' or 'No' box on your ballot paper.
If more people vote 'Yes' than 'No' in this referendum, then South Tyneside Council will use the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum area.
If more people vote 'No' than 'Yes', then planning applications will continue to be decided without using the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan. Instead, planning applications would be decided using the policies in the various documents that comprise the Development Plan for South Tyneside. These are as follows:
South Tyneside Core Strategy (2007)
South Shields Town Centre and Waterfront Area Action Plan (2008)
Hebburn Town Centre Area Action Plan (2008)
Central Jarrow Area Action Plan (2010)
South Tyneside Development Management Policies Document (2011)
South Tyneside Site-Specific Development Plan Document (2012)
What is the Development Plan?
In England, decisions on planning applications are made by local planning authorities. Those decisions must be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The development plan is a set of documents that contain policies for the development and use of land in a local planning authority area.
South Tyneside Council is the local planning authority for South Tyneside.
What is Neighbourhood Planning?
Neighbourhood planning powers were introduced in the Localism Act in 2011. Their aim is to help local communities play a direct role in planning the areas in which they live and work. Local communities prepare neighbourhood plans which show how the community wants land to be used and developed in its area. When a neighbourhood plan passes a local referendum, it will become part of the development plan for that development area and must be used to help in making decisions on planning applications in that area.
Who can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan?
Where town or parish councils exist, they are the only organisations that can start the work of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. Where there is no town or parish council a Neighbourhood Forum can be created to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. East Boldon does not have a Parish Council so in this case the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared by the East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum.
What is a neighbourhood area?
Neighbourhood areas are defined for the purpose of neighbourhood planning. Neighbourhood Plans can only be created in formally designated neighbourhood areas. A neighbourhood area can cover single streets or large urban areas or rural areas.
The boundaries of a neighbourhood area are proposed by town or parish councils. This is done by formal application to South Tyneside Council who will make the decision about designating a neighbourhood area.
The boundary of the East Boldon Neighbourhood Area was formally designated at South Tyneside Council's Cabinet meeting on 3 January 2018 for the purposes of carrying out Neighbourhood Planning activities in the East Boldon area of the Borough.
Neighbourhood Planning in East Boldon
The Referendum area is defined in this Information Statement. The Referendum Area is identical to the area designated as the East Boldon Neighbourhood Area and is shown below.
Expenses can be incurred by an individual or body organising a campaign during the period of the referendum for the referendum purposes. There is a limit to the amount that campaigners can spend on their advertising for the referendum.
The Referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan Referendum is £2,562.60 to each campaign organiser. The number of persons entitled to vote in the Referendum by reference to which the limit has been calculated is 3400 (as at 1 September 2021).
Specified documents to be published before Referendum
South Tyneside Council is required to make available a number of documents relevant to holding the Referendum. These are called the Specified Documents. The specified documents are:
Those eligible to vote, who already have a postal vote, will receive a postal poll card between 23 and 30 September confirming this.
To apply to vote by post, you will need to complete an application form and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer to arrive by 5pm on Wednesday 13 October 2021.
Completed applications can be scanned and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posted to: Electoral Services, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.
Postal votes can be sent overseas but you need to think about whether you will have time to receive and return your completed postal vote.
You should receive your postal vote by 22 October. If it doesn't arrive by this date, you can ask for a replacement up to 5pm on Thursday 28 October 2021 by contacting the Elections Office on 0191 424 7230.
If you can't get to the polling station and don't wish to vote by post, you may be able to vote by proxy. This means allowing somebody you trust to vote on your behalf.
A proxy poll card will be sent to anyone currently appointed as a proxy for an eligible voter in the referendum area, between 23 and 30 September.
To apply to vote by proxy, you will need to complete an application form and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer to arrive by 5pm on Wednesday 20 October 2021. Completed applications can be scanned and sent to email@example.com or posted to: Electoral Services, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.
When you apply for a proxy vote, you must say why you cannot vote in person
Anyone can be your proxy as long as they are eligible to vote and are willing to vote on your behalf. You will have to tell them how you want to vote.